Please let me start off by saying that in no way has this post or any of the reviews been endorsed by any of the brands/companies mentioned. This is an honest review of the products we use and purchases we’ve made both before and after our baby was born to help other mums-to-be or new mums.
When I found out I was pregnant I was so excited to shop for baby. Especially when going on maternity leave in the weeks leading up to her birth. I spent a small fortune on cute little grows and those socks that were just too adorable to leave behind in the shop! Now she’s 7 months old most of my shopping is from Tesco or Morrisons. No way am I spending a whole £10 on one sleep suit anymore 🤣 There’s so much good quality stuff that you can get for an absolute bargain, that you really don’t have to spend loads on the big names (unless you want to of course!).
This isn’t an exhaustive list as I could talk for hours about all the various accessories and toys! Enjoy!
We bought a second hand Chicco Next To Me bedside crib for around £50 on Facebook Marketplace. These retail at around £200 new and they’re usually only in them for 6 months or so. We gave it a good hand wash before using with anti bac spray. There was really nothing wrong with it but just wanted to be sure all germs were gone! These are so useful for safe co-sleeping and doubles up as a travel cot when away. We do of course have a proper cot now she's older but she's in the bed with us pretty much most of the time so I won't go into that!
Asda and Sainsbury’s do some gorgeous sleeping bags which most babies love to wear as they’re like little cocoons! Also more safe than using lots of blankets when the weather gets a bit chilly. The Gro Company are the big player in this area but they are more expensive of course. I did manage to buy a few on sale from them though and TK Max also sell Gro Bags for a fraction of the price. I can recommend their Gro Suits which are super soft cotton sleep suits with padded sleeves for cooler nights. I bought a multi pack of these from Amazon rather than directly from Gro Company as they were cheaper.
We were gratefully gifted a musical mobile however to be honest it stopped my babe from sleeping as it just distracted her and was more like a toy. We did get a Slumber Buddies elephant light projector and music player bought for us which we play every night. Our baby seems to associate this with bedtime which is obviously very helpful! It has different settings for white noise, nursery rhymes and different coloured lights. You can also put it on different time settings (we use for 45 mins) so you don’t need to switch it off or dread it going off too soon before baby has settled into a deep sleep.
Our favourite place for semi-affordable clothes is H&M. I bought quite a few bits from here when I was pregnant as they wash really well and I like that their girls clothes are not all pink and girly. Their trouser/leggings are great as they have feet so no need for socks. Their mix & match range of wrap over tops and bottoms were pretty much all that our baby girl wore for the first couple of months.
In terms of supermarkets, Morrisons is amazing! They have such a fab range and they don’t ‘look’ cheaper at all.
I also really like Boots Mini Club and they often have really good sales on.
Obviously if you’re breastfeeding you save a small fortune on formula but you may still need a few things such as a steriliser. I decided to switch to formula a few weeks after birth so we invested in the following.
Avent steam steriliser - we’ve been using for 7 months and it still works perfectly. I think all steam sterilisers start to get a bit rusty on the hot plate but as long as you give is a good clean most times you use it, it should be fine. I like the Avent as it has quite a large storage space and fits 4-5 bottles well.
Bottles - Our baby girl had colic so we invested in Dr Browns Anti Colic Bottles which really helped her take in less air but they do leak a little from the vacuum holes. Other mums I know use the MAM bottles and we switched to standard Tommee Tippee ones at around 4 months when the excess wind became less of an issue.
Weaning - a good quality high chair is essential to support baby’s posture, especially in the early days when you’re just starting out with weaning. We have a Joie Snacker which works well but isn’t the easiest to clean. You can get less bulky versions but the main reason we bought it is because of the cute design! We also got it on offer at Mothercare.
A plate with a suction base is so handy and we bought a bamboo one from Bamboo Bamboo. It has different sections which is more of a novelty than an essential!
Silicone bibs are easy to clean and ones with a ‘pouch’ at the bottom helps collect some fallen food. A dog also works well for this!!
Nappies & toiletries
We’ve always used either Lidl Lupilu or Aldi Mamia nappies and sensitive baby wipes. I was so surprised when we bought them how super soft they are. Not to mention being ridiculously affordable! They work out at about 1p a nappy (joking, but they're so cheap but so amazing!)
After all the press over the past few years about Johnson’s Baby Powder containing talc (which has been linked to some nasty stuff - won’t go into it here but you can find it all on google) we opted for Aldi’s Mamia Baby Powder which is talc free and instead has cornflour. Handy for drying up that soggy neck after a dribbly day!
For washing we use Aveeno Baby Hair & Body Wash which is super gentle. This isn’t as cheap as others but you can often buy it on offer with some looking around.
For moisturisation I use pure coconut oil which is also great for a little baby massage.
Oh and I can’t not mention Sudocrem. The magical cream for baby bums!
AND THAT’S IT! No need to buy dozens of products. I find simple & natural is best.
Out & about
Omg don’t get me started on changing bags! I defiantly refused to buy a changing bag for the first few months after baby was born and just used my handbag! This is one of those products that I feel retailers and brands really take the biscuit with. They are just so bloody EXPENSIVE! I spent ages trawling the internet for a non-mumsy, affordable one and in the end bought one from Amazon for £25 and I love it! Hands down one of my best purchases. It has all the handy compartments, keep-bottle-warm thing, travel changing mat, pram straps etc etc for a fraction of the price.
Pram/travel system/car seat
Everyone knows that a car seat is one of the things you really shouldn’t scrimp on, and you definitely shouldn’t get a second hand one unless you’re 100% certain it hasn’t been in a car accident. I would recommend going to a local car seat safety centre where they can advise which seat is best for your budget and car. If there's not one near you you can still get lots of advice/contact from here.
An all in one travel system is great for transferring baby from car directly to stroller and if you do your research you can usually find some good sales on the internet.
And that's it! There is of course lots of other things we bought but I hope this short run down gives you a little info if your mind is boggled by the hundreds of options out there.
If you can recommend a particular product to other mamas please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!